“Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” –  Abraham Lincoln

One of the most common reasons people miss work or go to the doctor is back pain. In fact, back pain is a leading cause of disability globally and most everyone suffers from back pain at least once in their lives. According to the Mayo Clinic

“Back pain that comes on suddenly and lasts no more than six weeks (acute) can be caused by a fall or heavy lifting. Back pain that lasts more than three months (chronic) is less common than acute pain.”

They also note that some of the more common symptoms of back pain can include:

  • Muscle ache
  • Shooting or stabbing pain
  • Pain that radiates down your leg
  • Pain that worsens with bending, lifting, standing or walking
  • Pain that improves with reclining

While temporary back pain can restrict activity or even be debilitating, more often than not it can be treated at home and will diminish in a short time. However, if the back pain is caused by a disease, or an acute injury of some type, the pain may not be easily treatable and can require professional care.

Sometimes back pain can start out somewhat sporadic but become chronic over time. This can occur despite home treatments, bedrest and other self-remedies. That’s when you want to consider treatment or therapy from a certified and professional therapist.

Oftentimes, chronic back pain is the result of postural imbalances. These imbalances can be the result of many things including:

  • Previous injuries
  • Scar tissue
  • Overworked muscles
  • Structural abnormalities
  • Degenerative changes from aging
  • Improper exercise
  • The wrong shoes, a heavy handbag or anything that adversely affects walking
  • Everyday stress

One approach is to diagnose your back pain with Anatomy in Motion, or AiM. This is a technique for assessing your gait, how you walk, and it doesn’t actually start with your back. An AiM assessment can connect the whole body’s movement and track movement compensations. Since back pain is often just a symptom of the actual cause, AiM allows us to create a “map” to discover the origin of the pain.

Some of the Common Causes of Back Pain

Back pain can result from any number of reasons and manifest in several areas in your back. Some of the most common causes include spondylolisthesis, cervical radiculopathy, accidents, muscle strains and various sports injuries. Sometimes pain is simply the result of poor posture combined with a steady weakening of the body’s core muscles over time.

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Let’s take a quick look at these various causes:

Spondylolisthesis is a spinal disorder in which a vertebral bone slips forward onto the bone underneath it. Some sports that put stress on the bones in the lower back, such as gymnastics and football, can increase the risk of occurrence and can genetics. If the vertebra slips too far, it can also press on nerves, causing severe back pain, or nerve impingement with pain or numbness.

Cervical radiculopathy, or a pinched nerve, is a compressed or irritated nerve in the neck that can cause pain, numbness, or muscle weakness in the arm or chest. Symptoms include sharp pain and tingling in the neck or arm though it often improves without treatment.

Car accidents often result in back pain even if there was no actual injury to the body. Just the sudden stress and deceleration from a minor impact can cause whiplash or other muscle strains in the back, neck and shoulders. Falling or tripping can trigger back pain, too, as a result of the sudden strain on muscles and vertebrae.

Muscle strains can come from a variety of activities – or lack of them! Working at a desk, often in front of a computer, has been called the new “smoking” because of the health risks associated with it. Research shows that sitting for long periods of time can lead to obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, and excess body fat. In addition, a common cause of low back pain is poor sitting posture. Sitting in a slouched position can strain your back and cause excessive pressure on joints, muscles, and discs, which can result in back pain.

Sports injuries are common and, quite often, so is back pain as a result. According the North American Spine Society website,

“Muscle strains and Ligament sprains are the most common injuries that cause back pain in the young athlete. They can be caused by athletic overuse, improper body mechanics and technique, lack of proper conditioning, insufficient stretching, as well as trauma.”

Although many athletes may try to “work through” the pain, back pain can be severe and even crippling at times, and this is almost never a recommended approach.

Chronic Back Pain and ART

Depending on the cause, manual therapies such as Active Release Technique®, or ART®, can be used to relieve chronic back pain. Depending on the root cause, this therapy might also be used in conjunction with specialized exercise, physical therapy, chiropractic care, rest, ice and heat to relieve the pain.

Active Release Technique® is a clinical manual therapy that was developed by Dr. P. Michael Leahy and specifically designed to relieve musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction. It accomplishes this by treating muscles, tendons, ligaments, joint tissue and nerves.

It is a movement-based therapy that combines patented hands-on treatments with client movement to break up scar tissue, separate adhesions in muscles, relieve entrapped nerves and restore muscle length. A comprehensive system, ART® is comprised of hundreds of protocols designed to identify and treat problems in specific body structures and tissues.

ART® can also increase range of motion in joints, improve blood flow, and help reduce or even eliminate chronic and acute pain.

Because Active Release Technique® is specifically designed to locate and treat scar-tissue adhesions in the muscles and surrounding soft tissues it is highly effective for many types of back pain. By locating and treating these soft-tissue adhesions, ART® allows us to break up restrictive scar-tissue and restore tissue flexibility and movement.

Back Pain Relief With ART and Pain and Performance Solutions

When you come to your first appointment, we want to learn about your present discomfort as well as any history of discomfort. Getting back pain relief with ART starts with an understanding of when and how your pain started.

A full examination will help us determine which form of treatment is best suited to get you on your road to recovery. Your trust in us is key, as is your honesty. Ultimately, getting your body healthy and working properly is the only way to achieve total recovery

So, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help and will answer any questions that you may have. You can reach us at (707) 636-4404 or by filling out our online contact form